On August 2, we celebrated the launch of the Bishop Company on V9. While this seems like an ordinary migration, there are several lessons learned that we would like to share with you. Some may help with your architecture decisions while some may give you inspiration to try something new.
The first decision we made was to move the WCS server from an on-premise Windows server to the cloud. There is a clear fear of latency when we move the Commerce server away from the I Series 570 running A+ , an ERP legacy into the cloud. To our horror, that fear became a reality when we did our Integration testing. An order was taking 10 times longer to complete. The Director, Keith McCormick, was in charge of Use Acceptance Testing. Keith’s face turned white during his preliminary testing and his voice was shaky when his repeated tests kept showing the same results. His fear was confirmed. So we huddled around Keith to figure out what was going on.
We quickly found out that there was a very simple solution to this: turning on a feature called “connection pooling” on the iSeries. When the Commerce server tried to make a request to the iSeries, a connection was made and destroyed after use. With connection pooling enabled, a connection created was reused many times until it was no longer needed. Problem solved! An order submission came back to its original expectations of 2 seconds.
But we were not out of hot water just yet…
Our extended integration testing revealed a second problem; as a shopper added more than 1 item in the shopping cart, the checkout process slowed down proportionally with the number of items in the shopping cart and came to a halt. Another head scratcher for us! Upon close inspection, we found out that there is logic to recalculate price for every single item in the shopping cart. Why? Because the price may change while items are in the cart. Well, how often does price change? For Keith’s business, he only upload a new price list once a day so we added a new business rule to recalculate the price for items that have been in the cart longer than 24 hours. Bingo! Price recalculation by the backend A+ is not needed for 80% of the order items. Response time came back to 2 seconds again.
Keith was happy again for making such a smart business decision!
Added Value – Mobiecom did not have to change after the V9 migration
Another reason for Keith to be happy is that his storefront, built based on Mobiecom, did not have to change after the V9 migration was completed. Keith did a battery of tests during the User Acceptance Test and his storefront works perfectly against the new back-end.